What’s Sex Got to Do With Intersectional Identities? Final Reflection

Throughout this semester, we have looked at several concepts that shape and help us to understand what is going on in our world regarding sex and how we view it. However, I believe the most important concept that we have studied to be intersectionality.

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Final Concept Analysis: Social Constructions

When we began discussing social constructions in class, I was wowed. Of course, I have been living my whole life immersed in society and accepting all the messages it was sending me, but I never realized that all of it was just made up. We do, know, and think so many things that allow us to function within society, but most of this was learned. I didn’t inherently know that I was supposed to wear clothes when I left my house, brush my teeth twice a day, or eat three meals a day. I wasn’t born knowing that I was a white, German-blooded, Catholic female who lived in the US, and yet, I’ve grown up with these things as facts of life. Really though, those are all social constructs that have been made up by people and societies who’ve lived before me and taught to me by the people around me. Continue reading

What does sex have to do with… Marijuana?

There are many arising arguments relating marijuana use and sex drive. In a simple Google search, I found multiple articles on the concept, coming from all types of websites, ranging from psychologists, doctors, sex bloggers and frequent weed users.

Unlike any other drug, weed seems to be the most versatile when it comes to response. A lot of people like the high, meanwhile a lot of people hate the feeling. Being under the influence of alcohol has never been known to decrease sex drive. However, mensfitness.com does claim that excessive amounts of alcohol are bad for libido, as well as harm erection and decrease orgasms. The same website does argue that alcohol in small amounts may enhance libido. However, this website did not state that the state of being drunk decreased sex drive, and no website made that claim.

            So why are the effects of marijuana different?

Many studies have been made on the effects marijuana has on sex for the past 45 years. The studies have all made completely different claims. The earliest study, done in the 1970s claimed that marijuana “destroys sex”. However, this study was contradicted by multiple studies through out the years that wanted to prove this wrong.

Psychologytoday.com claims that sex can in fact spoil your sex life in 4 ways. First, they claim it can affect fertility. “THC, can impair fertility by lowering sperm count and semen volume. It can also make sperm swim too fast too soon – a type of supercharging that causes them to burn out early and lose the energy to reach their destination. Even if the woman is the only one in the relationship using marijuana, sperm mobility can still be affected because the THC makes its way into her reproductive tract.” Second, it has been linked to erectile dysfunction. They claim that it might increase desire, but it decreases performance. Third, marijuana gets in the way of experience. Marijuana might have different effects on each partner. One might think that sexual intercourse has been lasting a long time, meanwhile the other partner, perhaps sober, realizes time on a realistic level. The person on the drug may also become more connected to the drug than they are with the actual person. The fourth and last reason that psychologytoday.com claims is that all of the negatives sure do outweigh the positives. Marijuana may seem great on the surface level, but at the end of the day, satisfaction is most likely not worth it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHFBgIJNGZw

Here is a link to a short video provided by UCLA Health

 

Do you think that alcohol inhances sex drive?

Do you think that smoking weed might take away the intimacy of the over all experience?

Do you think weed decreases sex drive?

Do you feel there is a definitive answer, or that studies will continue to remain a mix between satisfaction and dissatisfaction?

Whats Sex Got To With… Final Concept Analysis

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victimWhat does sex have to do with the understanding and knowledge of sexual assault and rape on college campuses, especially here at Vanderbilt. Many people claim they know what sexual assault, sexual battery and rape are,but in reality, not many people know exactly what they all are. As incoming students we are required to do both Alcohol Edu and the PETSA module, but they are often seen as stupid things that get in the way of our last few days of summer vacation before going off to school. To add to this, if you do your PETSA module early enough, you may forget all about it by the time school even starts!

According to the FBI, the definition of rape is: penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Not many people could give you this exact answer when they are asked, and I think that could probably be a red flag. Also, this definition is somewhat geared towards male dominance- the definition could always be tweaked and loopholes can always be found. As we watched and listened to our classmates give their final group presentations, we saw definitions of rape and sexual assault that were more extensive than the one shown above from the FBI. When representatives of Project Safe came and spoke to our class, Kara beamed with pride as she spoke about the 23 page definition of rape she worked to come up with among other colleagues. No one is really going to read a 23 page definition of rape, as it most likely will be far too in depth and intricate for a reader of our age to sustain his or her attention.

I think that the topic of sexual assault and rape was one of the important topics we covered this semester because it is the topic we encounter most, especially in college, and it is a topic that frankly students know almost nothing about. Here at Vanderbilt, we have a program called Freshman Visions, and to be completely honest, I learned almost nothing by sitting in that class.  No one spoke about the real thing everyone was concerned and had questions about: sex, rape, and nightlife. We spoke about classes every week, and the same answers were repeated every time. Not once did we talk about rape or anything regarding sexual education and safety… not once! For the future, I think it should be that all freshman must go through a class similar to Visions, but instead have it be regarding the topics of sex, rape and sexual assault awareness, and night/ weekend life safety. I feel that people here need to be more educated about such serious and relevant topics, and a program like I just brought up would serve a much greater purpose and would resonate a lot better than visions would.

What’s Sex Got to Do With Cards?

We all know everything there is to know about straight people. They’re everywhere. Gay men and lesbian women … we know a little about them. Enough to get by, or at least not to horribly offend someone. Queer people… (is that term not offensive anymore???). Bisexual women are hot, obviously. Threesomes, am I right? But what if the person who is bisexual is… a MAN!?

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The Final Post

Music.
music
Hip-hop music in particular has the most influence on mainstream and the younger generation of society. There are equally as many white people as black people that listen to hip-hop so with that being said, it effects all races as well as social classes, which makes it most effective in spreading ideologies. The assertiveness in hip-hop music objectifies women and puts men in the position of power. Some songs directly put down women by calling them bitches and hoes while also referring to them in a sexual manner. Because it is a man that usually makes these songs, he is sending the message that he is better than women so he has the right to degrade them.
Magazines.
magazine
Magazines depict the way men and women are supposed to look and act. The ideal masculine man is depicted in magazines as one that is tall, muscular, and heterosexual. You can tell he is heterosexual because he is usually surrounded by women. The ideal feminine woman is usually slender and beautiful with long flowing hair. These images give society a collective image of what a man or woman should look like, which reinforces gender roles and heteronormativity.
Social Media.
twitter
Social media helps reinforce multiple ideologies including heteronormativity and the objectification of women. When I scroll down my timeline on twitter at night, a lot of what I see is naked women and them performing sexual actions with other men. By showing such sexual content, it neglects to also include safe sex practices for woman to woman, man to man, and man to women actions. Also, especially in the case of twitter and Instagram, any time something that is not heteronormative is posted, criticism follows. It is really bad on twitter to the point people get attacked for being something other than what society wants them to be.
Television shows.
tv
Television shows are becoming more interactive with things other than the traditional values of society. Some shows makes jokes about very controversial topics, which for some people makes it seem like it is not that big of a deal. On the other hand, sometimes the shows joking about controversial topics brings them to light and allows people to make their own assumptions about the issue. All in all, television is something that everybody watches at some point in life and it is the easiest way to spread common ideas. Sometimes it does not directly address issues; sometimes the issues are subliminal, but either way, the issue/topic still gets talked about.
All of these are a part of the social institution called media. Of all the concepts and topics we covered, media has got to be my favorite one because media plays a role in everything from sexualities to double-standards to sexual assault. The ways the ideologies were created for these concepts is most likely through media because media always projects the popular opinion and the nature of people is to take the opinions of others and make them their own with their own justifications. Media is what helped and is still helping society develop a collective conscious.

It’s a Date

In the second chapter of her book Hooking up, Kathleen Bogle describes the history of how the dominant intimacy script shifted from dating to hooking up. She begins by responding to calls from various media outlets for a return to a more conservative sexual morality, which usually involve condemnations of hookup culture. She points out that dating is also a recent phenomenon, and that it replaced what came before it just as mush as hooking up replaced dating. The point of this chapter is to detail the transitions in intimacy scripts that led to dating, away from dating, and to hooking up.

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Being a Stud vs. Being a Slut……

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One of the most important takeaways from this article is the use of people centered language. I find it really interesting that the people don’t see the differences in language that demonize women for their sexuality. Woman a forced into a condition of either being a virgin or a prude or they are considered slutty for having sex. Meanwhile, men have a really opposite experience. Men who don’t have sex are seen as inadequate or undesired but when they do they are praised for their cunning, charm and more. The double standard is more favorable towards men because men at least have an option for positive regard while woman are, metaphorically speaking, in between “a rock and a hard place”.  Because of these ideas, it creates a situation for women where they feel they need to rationalize every sexual act they participate in or they internalize the double standard and begin to identify themselves as sluts. It’s very sad to see how the double standard affects the women’s own perception of their sexuality.

Another problem that I gauged from the double standard is that women are generally thought as to be a docile, submissive, “prey”. I this belief emerges from the Bible and other similar religions. In Christianity, the bible says that men are the head of the household and that women should follow the orders of their husbands. Although many of these ideas may seem outdates, remnants of these ideas exist in the way we behave. Our attitudes in society have a narrative that girls are need to be led astray by a man to let go of her values and have sex when in actuality a girl is acting on her sexual impulses just as much as a man would. This also eliminates the narrative that women can prey on men or be dominant of their sexual acts.

The double standard is very dangerous because it also eliminates the narrative of male rape. If men are always preying on women, the idea that men can be raped by women is impossible. However, we know that male rape is something that happens in our society. This is very dangerous because rape has been a crime that has been thought as only being a crime against women. In recent years, this idea has changed but it’s very alarming to think that it’s only been in recent years that this mentality that women were incapable of rape still existed. Having a double standard that paints a group as weaker than the other can really limit the protections afforded to the dominant group.

An interesting point that the article made was about woman’s bodies being constantly under a state of “conquest”. This statement was pretty profound, however, it resonated with me because it’s true. Woman are constantly at odds with different groups in society who are trying to colonize their bodies for their individual interests. All of these acts by these different interest groups are groups trying to exert their power against women as if women are not able to control what happens with their own bodies.  I find it very insulting that these double standards exist because it implies that women in my life like my mother and sisters do not know what to do with their bodies and I know that they do.

I also thought the commentary the author made about heterosexual sex was the only kind of real sex that existed is a sentiment that is really pervasive today. There is a very specific definition of “sex” in our society that is very heteronormative. If I could ask the author of this article a question it would be, “How can we define sex in a way that in gender neutral?” Defining sex as something that is gender neutral would be very beneficial because I think it may help with language around dominance and submission.  For example, if sex was defined as an exchange between two people rather than a man preying on a woman, then it would really remove the assumption of a gender power dynamic.

The purpose of this article was made clear in the final paragraph. Valenti wrote this article as a call to action. As a man, reading this article was very impactful. I was unaware of the impact my double standards could have on women and how they experience the world. There are a lot of changes I can make to ensure that I do not reinforce double standards with my language and actions.

I think it is very important for people to read articles like this because they can really enlighten people and change their perspectives. We are all human beings and deserve to be afforded the same rights regardless of people’s varying beliefs. Although this idea seems like common sense, there is going to have to be a lot of explicit education and changes in the representation of women in media. Woman need to be represented in media as positive, powerful icons rather than images that reinforce these sexist ideals.

If I had to ask some questions from this article, I would ask:

How can we remove the notion of “purity” around women since it is so deeply rooted in religion?

How does this affect women who want to uphold traditions of virginity until marriage?

What are ways that larger populations of people can be made aware of how these double standards affect women?

Resources

http://www.alternet.org/story/86736/he%27s_a_stud,_she%27s_a_slut%3A_the_sexual_double_standard

What does sex have to do with.. college student’s view on assault

For a final project, I was apart of a group of four girls, who happen to be curious Vanderbilt students. Not girls, women. Our blog is constructed by a strong group of women who want change. What is the change we want? Well, as of right now, we aren’t entirely sure. Thats why we are asking YOUR opinion. We want to look at the way that students on campus look at sexual assault. Currently on most college campus’, students are given and/or are practically forced into taking surveys given by administration required by law. Does this help? Yes and no: rape is still an ongoing issue. We want to find out how students define the term rape and interview select individuals. We want to circulate a blog full of facts, opinions and ideas regarding sexual assault and prevention of sexual assault. This blog most likely will not stop it, but small steps in the right direction is all that we are looking for.

We want the student’s voices to be heard in a concept that is open to opinions and not required by the law. We want to make college students’ stronger. We want to see the difference ourselves by creating change.

As a group, we interviewed and hopefully continue to interview, ask to define, and capture via photograph anonymous responses of college students:  students who have, and have not been through the experience of sexual assault. We post initial responses to the questions (aka mood/reaction to the proposed questions), responses, as well as a pictures taken of their feet the day the questions were asked in terms of anonymity.

During our final project, we found some interesting concepts. Older students typically gave very definite, almost deep answers in response to what their definition of sexual assault is. Younger students usually gave a more broad answer. Female students answering the questions typically felt uncomfortable answering the questions, meanwhile men seemed to be more comfortable. In the interviewing process, we also asked a few students outside of the Vanderbilt community. I was able to reach out to a few moms of college students, as well as students and student athletes at other colleges.

Answers typically said that students would in fact report the rape to the police if they had knowledge of one. However, this totally contradicts the studies and research done every year. Students usually leave rape cases unreported.

We hope you find interest in the blog and find it informative and inspiring for change not only on college campuses today, but in the generations to come.    www.wgs160group.tumblr.com <<<—- CLICK HERE

Now I ask you to please give your responses to the questions we asked students across the U.S.

-How would you define sexual assault?

-Would you be willing to report a sexual assault if seen/done?

-Do you know who you could report it to/or do you know who could guide you through the process (on campus)?

-Do you think women are seen as the victims and that they are not being taken as seriously as they should be?

-How large of a role do you think alcohol plays in campus rape culture?

-Do you know anyone who has been personally affected by rape culture? (On/off campus)

-Do you think that Vanderbilt’s system of preventing rape is effective?